T-Mobile Is Diving In to Better Serve SMBs

By Todd R. Weiss  |  Posted 2015-03-18 Print this article Print

Meanwhile, consumers aren't being left out of T-Mobile's latest announcements.

Legere also unveiled a new "Un-contract" initiative that gives price lock guarantees to existing and new T-Mobile customers at their existing rates as long as they remain with the company. Customers who have unlimited 4G LTE services will lock in their rates for a minimum of two years, under the price guarantee.

Legere also announced a "Carrier Freedom" initiative that T-Mobile is offering to pay all outstanding phone and tablet payments up to $650 per line when customers switch to T-Mobile from a contract they hold with another carrier. Early termination fees for unexpired contracts will also be covered.

T-Mobile US has been on a bit of an upswing as of late. In February, the company announced that it had grown its fourth-quarter 2014 profit to $101 million, up from a $20 million loss in the same quarter one year prior, while increasing its fourth-quarter revenue to $8.15 billion, up 19.4 percent from the same quarter in 2013. The company also tallied a 4.05 million net add in postpaid mobile customers in 2014, giving it 25.8 million customers, which is up 18 percent from 21.8 million one year prior.

T-Mobile's branded postpaid mobile phone churn rate for the fourth quarter was 1.73 percent, compared with the 1.63 percent churn rate one year prior. For the full year, the company's churn rate was 1.58 percent, which was down from the 1.69 percent rate in 2013.

In the fourth quarter, T-Mobile sold 8 million smartphones, up from 6.2 million in the same quarter one year prior. For the full year of 2014, the company sold 28 million smartphones, up from 18.3 million in 2013.

In January 2015, T-Mobile unveiled new, cheaper prepaid mobile phone plans for customers who want service without paying extra for such features as free international texting and free music streaming. Starting at $40 per month, the new Simply Prepaid plans, with monthly 4G LTE data allotments of 1GB, 3GB or 5GB, give customers more choices for services that better fill their needs. All three Simply Prepaid plans offer unlimited data, talk and text. All data use beyond the monthly 4G LTE allotment is provided at lower 128K speeds under the plans. The new plans are priced at $40 per month for the 1GB accounts, $50 per month for 3GB accounts and $60 per month for 5GB accounts.

In 2014, T-Mobile was the apparent target of several merger attempts. In October, French telecommunications company Iliad announced that it had ended its acquisition attempts for T-Mobile, while in early August Sprint dropped its plans to buy T-Mobile after the move was opposed by regulators, according to reports. Sprint had been rumored for months to be seeking a merger with T-Mobile so that the two struggling companies could join together and fight harder to compete with mobile powers Verizon Wireless and AT&T. Iliad wanted to buy T-Mobile US to bolster its global aspirations.

T-Mobile's most recent financial results were in contrast to the latest results from competitors Verizon, AT&T and Sprint, which all suffered losses. Earlier in February, Sprint reported a net loss of $2.4 billion in its third quarter of 2014, which was more than twice the loss of $1.04 billion one year prior. Sprint also had an operating loss of $2.54 billion, which included non-cash charges of $2.1 billion.

In January, Verizon reported fourth-quarter losses of $2.2 billion, largely due to the cost of non-operational expenses, including benefits and pension payments, according to an earlier eWEEK report.

Also in January, AT&T reported a net loss of $3.9 billion in the fourth quarter of 2014, though its revenue of $34.4 billion rose 3.8 percent from the same period the previous year.


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